News / USA

Obama Offers Message of Hope and Support to Tornado-Damaged Joplin, Missouri

President Barack Obama, third from left, talks with residents while viewing damage from the tornado that devastated Joplin, Mo., Sunday, May 29, 2011.
President Barack Obama, third from left, talks with residents while viewing damage from the tornado that devastated Joplin, Mo., Sunday, May 29, 2011.
TEXT SIZE - +

U.S. President Barack Obama toured tornado-ravaged Joplin, Missouri, Sunday, where 142 people were killed and another 40 are still missing.   The president offered a message of consolation and hope at a memorial service for those who lost their lives.

People climbed down from atop piles of splintered furniture, broken cars, and remnants of houses to shake hands with the U.S. president.  Mr. Obama offered words of consolation and encouragement as he toured the wreckage of this Midwestern town.

It was one week ago in Joplin, Missouri, that a tornado with winds topping 300 kilometers an hour flattened homes and devastated lives.  

Later Sunday, upon taking the stage at a memorial service for those who died in Joplin, the president was greeted with rousing applause, and even a proclamation of love from someone in the audience.

The nation's mourner-in-chief responded in kind, saying, "I love Joplin.  I love Joplin."

A motorcade carrying President Obama passes through a devastated Joplin, Mo., neighborhood Sunday, May 29, 2011.
A motorcade carrying President Obama passes through a devastated Joplin, Mo., neighborhood Sunday, May 29, 2011.

Mr. Obama told the audience that once the shock from the deadly tornado wears off, residents will likely feel alone.  He vowed that would not be the case. "There is no doubt in my mind that Joplin will rebuild. And as president, I can promise you, your country will be there with you every single step of the way.  We will be with you every step of the way.  We're not going anywhere.  The cameras may leave.  The spotlight may shift.  But we will be with you every step of the way until Joplin is restored and this community is back on its feet.  We're not going anywhere," he said.

The stirring words brought all the members of the white-robed choir behind the president's podium to their feet.

Mr. Obama also reflected on those who died while saving others, and he urged survivors to live with the same level of compassion.    

President Obama arrived in Joplin Sunday after wrapping a six-day tour of Europe.  He said world leaders had spoken of their concern for the people who had suffered though the deadliest tornado to hit the United States in more than 60 years.

You May Like

Multimedia Anti-Keystone XL Protests Continue

Demonstrators are worried about pipeline's effect on climate change, their traditional way of life, health and safety More

Thailand's Political Power Struggle Continues

Court gave Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra until May 2 to prepare her defense over abuse of power charges but uncertainty remains over election timing More

Malaysia Plane Search Tests Limits of Ocean Mapping Technology

Expert tells VOA existing equipment’s maximum operating depth is around 6 kilometers as operation continues on ocean bed for any trace of MH370 More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Messagei
X
Penelope Poulou
April 22, 2014 5:53 PM
Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Message

Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pro-Russian Separatists Plan 'Federalization Referendum' in Eastern Ukraine

Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine say they plan to move forward next month with a referendum vote for greater autonomy, despite the Geneva agreement reached with Russia, the U.S. and Ukraine to end the political conflict. VOA's Brian Padden reports from the city of Donetsk in Eastern Ukraine.
Video

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

French filmmaker Luc Jacquet won worldwide acclaim for his 2005 Academy Award-winning documentary "March of the Penguins". Now Jacquet is back with a new film that takes movie-goers deep into the heart of a tropical rainforest - not only to celebrate its grandeur, but to make the case for its survival. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Boston Marathon Bittersweet for Many Runners

Monday's running of the Boston Marathon was bittersweet for many of the 36,000 participants as they finished the run that was interrupted by a double bombing last year. Many gathered along the route paid respect to the four people killed as a result of two bombings near the finish line. VOA's Carolyn Presutti returned to Boston this year to follow two runners, forever changed because of the crimes.
Video

Video International Students Learn Film Production in World's Movie Capital

Hollywood - which is part of Los Angeles - is the movie capital of the world, and many aspiring filmmakers go there in hopes of breaking into the movie business. Mike O'Sullivan reports that regional universities are also a magnet for students who hope to become producers or directors.
Video

Video Pacific Rim Trade Deal Proves Elusive

With the U.S.-led war in Iraq ended and American military involvement in Afghanistan winding down, President Barack Obama has sought to pivot the country's foreign policy focus towards Asia. One aspect of that pivot is the negotiation of a free-trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations. But as Obama leaves this week on a trip to four Asian countries he has found it very difficult to complete the trade pact. VOA's Ken Bredemeier has more from Washington.
Video

Video Autistic Adults Face Housing, Job Challenges

Many parents of children with disabilities fear for the future of their adult child. It can be difficult to find services to help adults with disabilities - physical, mental or emotional - find work or live on their own. The mother of an autistic boy set up a foundation to advocate for the estimated 1.2 million American adults with autism, a developmental disorder that causes communication difficulties and often social difficulties. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports.
AppleAndroid